6

Lemonade Days

While I wait for some creative ideas to spring forth, I thought I’d show a few mixed media pieces from the past. I had visited Giverny, the home of Monet many years ago, and included it in a map series I continue to work on. Besides his house, there were beautiful gardens and lily ponds.

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I like to mix paper with fabric. The next photo is paper I painted, stitched, cut up, then mixed with pieces of fabric.

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The last is part of a series of small quilts that I hand sewed, using pieces I cut from old thrift store clothing. I wanted a lot of texture, so I left the pockets on.

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I was out in Santa Monica last week, and I drove past some murals that had been painted in 1983 when I was living there. They are so representative of the coastal beauty of that city.

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There is an old merry-go-round on the Santa Monica Pier, and the next two show that the horses have come to life and are running along the ocean.

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I also did another historic stair walk, this time in Pasadena (home of the New Year’s Rose Parade). A lot of steps (990), but some going down, as well as up.

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As for warnings to dog owners, this wins for the most unique.

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You can see, since the houses are built on hillsides, some are rising up, and others I’m looking down into as I walk past.

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Being that it’s still summer weather here, (in the daytime), I’ve been experimenting with making different types of lemonade without adding sugar. The first try was almost too sour to drink. I’m getting closer, though, to something drinkable and tasty.  In the pitcher below, I added two lemons, one orange, four frozen strawberries and cold water.  The froth is from mixing it up in a gadget called a NutriBullit.  I liked the taste. It was primarily water with a hint of juice flavor.

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Beautiful evenings, with a preview of Fall air, as I walked through the neighborhood the last few nights.

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Here you can see coastal clouds rising up in the distance.

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It is unusually cool today for August 4th, and those of us who are staying home this Labor Day weekend are enjoying it immensely.

Have a good long weekend.

 

6

A Drink And Inspiration To Go

I saw this on the bulletin board at Starbucks as I was walking out the door with drink in hand. I had seen another one a while back. It seems like the purest way to make and show art. Sketching on what’s available, then posting it anonymously for the world to enjoy.

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I tried a couple of my own, although I did them at home, and they’re not anonymous.  But my creative thought process is on hiatus, so it’s all I could do.  It was fun using a pen on the napkin.  I was forced to make quick delicate lines or it would bleed.

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Since I am living in the historic stair capitol of the world, and the weather report said it would be cooler today, I drove out beyond downtown LA to climb some stairs.  It started out lovely.  I have a guide book that I follow, and it said Judy Garland lived in the castle house below with her mother and sister in 1933.

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The weather was getting warmer, but there were intermittent shady spots, and more fun things to see.

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Below is a very creative Little Free Library someone made in the shape of a cat.  The little free libraries encourage people to take or leave a book.  They are scattered around the city, and in other states as well.  You can see my reflection in the glass.

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The author of the guide book has never been the best at writing clear and concise directions. Today, as we descended one group of stairs, the directions read, “The staircase ahead continues down to Riverside Place.  Ignore that, and instead turn left onto the unpaved Silver Lake Court, and walk approximately 90 yards. There, just before India Street comes in on your right, bear left and walk through the grass up the slope.”  A photo below.

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The weather was now very hot, and neither India Street nor a grassy slope appeared.  We found our way back to civilization, but needed to resort to GPS to get back to our car.  The routes of these walks have you start at a specific point, and ultimately make a circle so you wind up back at your starting point.  I’m glad we had parked in some shade.

I bought this group of rolling pins at my neighbor’s yard sale.  I’m thinking of making some sort of giant wind chime (although being wood they will not chime), but the size might look like a nice sculptural element in my yard.  I’ll need to paint them with some sort of weather resistant stain so they’ll stay intact.

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And this last photo of some trees at a park near my house as I was walking one evening.

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I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the outdoors with good summer weather (or winter if you’re in New Zealand).

 

 

 

 

 

11

Walking Up Stairs

A colored pencil drawing for Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog. It is from a photo my friend took while we were walking the Camino. I considered water color, but I can play more with pencils. I’m still working on my water color techniques, and it’s kind of hit or miss. I haven’t found a creative direction since I returned home, so I pull out my sketchbook when the mood strikes.

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Here in Los Angeles, there are about 42 historic stair walks.  Most were built in the 1920’s and are in the older areas of LA.  They were originally the only way for people to get to the houses constructed on the hillsides.  There is a famous Laurel and Hardy movie that shows the two of them trying to get a piano up one set of stairs.  Each stair walk has a different amount of steps. When you reach the top of a group of stairs, you walk a short distance on the paved streets that exist today. Then you come to another group of stairs. You get to experience different kinds of neighborhoods with each stair “walk.” I went on one today.  It was about three miles, and had 664 steps total.  The longer sections had 163 steps in one, and 134 steps in another.

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It’s a great way to see parts of LA that you would never get to see otherwise.  Here’s a couple sights I saw today.

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A (blurry) peacock.

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The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery has an open call for art once every couple years. This year they added the theme of “play.”  I submitted a mixed media piece that I made after my dad passed away a couple years ago.  His garage looked like the hardware department of a Sears store.  He played out there building shelves, sofas, bird houses, and pieces of furniture that fill his children’s homes.  After he passed, I went through many containers of nails, washers, and bolts, and found some tiny round metal objects.  They were so delicate compared to all the heavy tools and equipment.  I decided to make something with them.  The days I spent sewing them to canvas was play for me, the value of which I learned from my father. The submitted piece was accepted.  The La Municipal Gallery is one of my favorite places.  It’s on a hill in the middle of Hollywood, but when you are up on the top, you’d never know you were in Hollywood. A photo below.

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And a photo of the piece.  I hand sewed the buttons as well as the metal rings to the canvas.

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I’ll leave you with a rose from a walk in my neighborhood.  It’s the color that made me stop.  Of course my phone didn’t capture it exactly, but it looked like a “big stick” popsical.  If you don’t have them in your area, this rose is pretty close to the color.

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Enjoy your weekend. If you’d like to see more photos of the historic stairs and surrounding neighborhoods, there’s a related catagory in the sidebar. Just click